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Immigration Law Frequently Asked Questions
Immigration law is one of the more difficult subsets of law to understand. With dozens of different visas and citizenship pathways, there is a lot of unclear information out there. Whether you or a loved one is immigrating to the United States or whether you are trying to plan your next course of action now that you are already in the country, you should read on and learn as much as you can.
If you have any questions not addressed in this FAQ list, you should contact your local immigration attorney. A lawyer will be able to help you understand and fill out any necessary forms and consult with you on your next steps toward citizenship. Many immigration attorneys are proficient in a number of languages, and you should be able to find an immigration lawyer who can speak your language of origin.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How Long Does It Take To Become A U.S. Citizen?
- The path to citizenship from visa to voting rights is often longer than many travelers to the United States believe. You first have to get your visa, which typically holds for about a year. After you get your visa, you need to get a green card, which will be valid for two years. During those two years, you need to remove the conditions for permanent residence by either getting married or starting a business, after which you will need to wait 3-5 more years before you can apply for U.S. citizenship. Therefore, it takes an average of eight years to become a citizen.
- How Expensive Is It To Become A U.S. Citizen?
- It can be very difficult to become a citizen if you are struggling to make ends meet. If you can prove to the USCIS that you are in financial need, they may waive the filing fees. If you can afford the fees, even if they will be a difficult expense, you will still have to pay. Fees range from $500-1,500 per application and include paying for multiple interviews and reviews of your financial data.
- How Easy Is It For Family Members To Join Me If I Have A Visa?
- As long as you fit the requirements for a work visa, education visa or other type of immigration visa, your qualifying children and spouse may fill out separate visas related to your visa. For instance, if you have an L-1 work visa, your children and spouse will fill out an L-2 visa. Most of the subsequent applications such as the application for a green card and citizenship application can be filled out jointly. If you have a visa or a green card, you can sponsor other family members, but they will have to apply for their own separate visa.
For more useful information on immigration law and the finer points about specific visa types, contact an immigration lawyer today!